• Offered by Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Classification Advanced
    Specialist
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law

The course is designed to review the ever-changing scope and operation of the executive power inherent in the Australian Constitution. It is set against the background of the UK development of the concept (largely by the courts). But its primary focus is on s 61 of the Constitution and relevant  decisions of the High Court. It draws also on available literature.

Because of the large expansion of executive power in recent years it then moves on to explore current issues. These are associated with powers relating to migration and 'terrorism', the trend towards republicanising the legal system

The course content uses an historical, analytical and topical approach to enable the potential of the concept of executive power in Australia to be appreciated and in particular focuses on:

  • the emergence of the concept of an Australian executive power and the consequential progressive reduction in reliance on prerogative power as a useful concept
  • the conventions and law governing the exercise of executive power (by Governor-General, Ministers, Cabinet and administrators)
  • the constitutional grounding of responsible government and its effectiveness in the 21st century
  • the narrowing of the traditional immunities and privileges the common law extends to the Crown and the impact of the practice by the executive of privatising and contracting out
  • federal issues relating to executive power, including the issues that arise if there is a conflict between the exercise of Commonwealth and State executive power
  • the unique position of the executive in the ACT
  • challenges to the protection, through the rule of law, of individuals, using as examples counter-terrorism law and migration law.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • Heightened awareness of the complexity of the law relating to executive power
  • An understanding of the implications of the sometimes not altogether unanimous views of the judges
  • Facilitation of the exercise of executive functions according to law, with an understanding of both its scope and its limitations

   

Other Information

This is an intensive course with 4 days of compulsory attendance required (see LLM timetable for dates).
Approximately 6 weeks from the completion of the intensive your final assessment will be due. Contact with fellow students and the convenor, both prior to the intensive and after, is conducted via the Wattle course site.

Indicative Assessment

Students must rely on the approved Course Study Guide which will be posted to the Wattle course site approximately 4 weeks prior to the commencement of the course.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Workload

26 Contact Hours (Intensive Delivery)

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be enrolled in the Graduate Certificate of Law (CLAW) and have completed or be completing LAWS8586 Law and Legal Institutions. OR Be in enrolled in: Master of International Law (7310XMINTL), Master of Environmental Law (7309XMENVL), Master of Law, Governance & Development (7317XMLGD), Master of International Security Law (7318XMISL), Master of Government and Commercial Law (7313XMGCL), Master of Legal Studies (7305XMLEGS).

Prescribed Texts

There is no readily available dedicated text book. The best coverage of the topic is found in Blackshield and Williams, Australian Constitutional Law and Theory: Commentary and Materials, Federation Press, 4th ed (2006). It is the prescribed text and the abridged version contains most (but not all) of the chapters that will be referred to. The unabridged version will be used in class.

Preliminary Reading

First two chapters of Blackshield and Williams would be useful, and a glance at ch 12 (Executive Power).

Further readings will be contained in the Course Study Guide, and there is useful additional reference in Blackshield and Williams.

Assumed Knowledge

It will be assumed that students have gained some appreciation of the nature of executive power either through earlier legal studies or through the courses Fundamentals of Government and Commercial Law or Legal Framework of Regulation, and of the general working of the federal system.

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
3
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2958
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6859 05 Sep 2017 06 Sep 2017 22 Sep 2017 20 Oct 2017 In Person N/A

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